The principles prohibiting discrimination in the workplace under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other applicable laws originated with both physical and psychiatric disabilities in mind; however, employers tend to focus more on the physical disabilities. According to a 2013 study by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, an estimated 61.5 million Americans have experienced mental health impairment in a given year. That number, if anything, continues to rise.
This webinar will discuss the employment rights of persons with psychiatric disabilities and conversely the employer's responsibilities toward those employees under the ADA and other applicable laws, with emphasis on workplace accommodations and discuss issues that arise including:
- How the broadened definition of disability under the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) affects individuals with psychiatric disabilities
- Determining when a person with a psychiatric disability is "qualified" for a job
- Common workplace issues involving persons with psychiatric disabilities
- Applicable case examples
- Identifying when safety issues or concerns arise and how the concept of "direct threat" may apply
- Resources for both employers and employees, among many others
Objectives of the Presentation
- Mental illness in the workplace: trends and statistics
- Applicable Laws (ADA, rehabilitation act, executive orders, among others)
- Potential Legal Issues: Discrimination, Disparate Treatment, Disparate Impact
- Americans with Disabilities Act (Definition of Disability, Reasonable Accommodation, Undue Hardship, Direct Threat)
- Workplace safety/violence issues
- Leave and attendance issues
- Substance abuse
- Permissible inquiries, medical exams
- Co-worker questions and issues
Why Should you Attend
How often have we thought of a mass shooting at a workplace, or other work-related catastrophes thinking we knew or should have seen it coming? Of course that's easier said than done. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities, including those with mental impairments, that substantially limit their major life activities unless the accommodation causes an undue hardship on the employer; or the employee poses a direct threat either to his safety or the safety of others.
But what does all that really mean? When interacting with employees with psychiatric conditions, which fears and concerns are valid? How should employers address these concerns, especially in light of the increase in and devastating damage caused by incidents of workplace violence? How do you know when someone has a psychiatric illness or is just plain strange? And, when someone does have a psychiatric illness, what are your obligations? Now knowing the answers to these questions could guarantee you legal trouble. By becoming aware of your responsibilities you can take your first steps toward preventing tragedy, ensuring a productive, engaged workforce and safe workplace, and that you are protected against legal liability.
Janette Levey Frisch,
The EmpLAWyerologist Firm/Attorney
Janette is an attorney with more than 20 years legal experience. Janette is the founder of The EmpLAWyerologist Firm. Janette works with employers on most employment law issues, acting as the Employer's Legal Wellness Professional - to ensure that employers are in the best position possible to avoid litigation, audits, employee relations problems, and the attendant, often exorbitant costs. Janette authors the firm's weekly blog and has written articles on many different employment law issues for many publications, including EEO Insight, Staffing Industry Review, @Law, and Chief Legal Officer.
Janette has also spoken and trained on topics, such as Criminal Background Checks in the Hiring Process, Joint Employment, Severance Arrangements, Pre-Employment Screening among many, many others. Janette is licensed in New Jersey and New York. In addition, Janette serves as a Legal Wellness Professional to employers outside New Jersey and New York on almost all federal employment law issues, to enable employees to address workplace challenges before they escalate to litigation or costly audits. Janette is also a contributor to the recently released book, "Hiring Greatness: How to Recruit Your Dream Team and Crush the Competition", published by John Wiley and Sons, and authored by David E. Perry and Mark J. Haluska.